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I've been offered a retail job with Xanterra south rim. I'm thinking of taking it while continuing to look for other jobs. Seems like people on this forum have generally bad things to say about working there, especially about the employee housing. Is it really that bad? Even if it is bad I might still take the job if I knew I could leave as soon as I found something else. The job offer specifies that I would be an "at-will employee" and could quit without notice. Is it really easy to quit when you want, or am I going to get down there and find that they want me to sign some longer contract, or try to quit and find that it's not that easy? I just don't want to get stuck long-term in a crappy situation. Thanks for any advice.

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Hey that’s crazy, I also was offered a retail job at the South Rim and after reading about Xanterra or Xanterrible I am concerned. I am scheduled to arrive there on March 11, 2008. When are you scheduled to arrive? I hope somebody out there fills us in.
I will note that I have called the Xanterra Human Resources many times and they have answered my questions with no trouble. I also attended a recruiting presentation and my experience so far says that they are a very professional company. (Knock on wood)They were however SHOCKED to hear that there is bad press about them.
I'm scheduled to be there on February 27 so I pretty much need to decide ASAP whether to take the job. Have you heard bad things about Xanterra from places other than this site? It's a good sign that you've had a good experience with HR so far. I guess I need to give them a call too and clear up a few things.
I've worked for Xanterra at Crater lake national park for the last 4 summers and a lot of people there work South Rim for the winter. In the 4 summers at Crater lake there have been improvements in food and other aspects. No employer is perfect, but I'd advise you take some of the criticisms of Xanterra with a grain of salt, so to speak. I've noticed that on this discussion list some like to blame
their employers for everything.

I classify seasonal park workers into 3 general catagories: 1) The young and adventurous (college students and/or recent grads who are out for a little adventure); The old and adventurous (recent retirees, divorcees or those otherwise in for a little mid life adventure; and 3) the "walking wounded"
(unfortunate souls who haven't found their place in the world and are drifting from job to job). It is this catagory of people who seem to cause all of the trouble and be so critical of employers. It also seems to be them who get fired.

My advice is to give it a try at South Rim and, as you have noted, take advantage of your "at will" agreement if it doesn't work out. Also, if you encounter problems at South Rim let your manager and/or HR know right away and give them a chance to correct the problem. Good luck.

By the way, I am giving Lake Powell a try this summer. Crater Lake is beautiful but after ~250 trips around the lake through 4 summers I'd like to see something different. I start June 3rd.


Joey H.
Thanks for your advice. I agree that you can't always judge a place by its internet reviews since people who had a bad experience are more likely to vent their anger by writing a bad review, while people whose experience was okay don't bother to write a good one. It's good to hear from someone who hasn't had a problem with Xanterra.
I see this was written in 2008. I've applied for Grand Canyon with Xanterra and after reading the bad comments I'm concerned. I'm one of the "older adventurous" ones and will be retiring soon. Can you let me know how your experience there was.

Hi Patsy. It really wasn't so bad, overall I think of it as a good experience. Wouldn't want to live in Coulter for the rest of my life but for a few months it's no worse than a college dorm, and living with the Canyon right outside my door was amazing. The warnings about sketchiness among the employees are well-founded though. In my experience, Xanterra will hire anybody. Even in the few months I was there, two people I knew got assaulted in Victor. If you party there, watch yourself. So there are some bad apples but most people I met were nice and the work wasn't bad.
To go work at the Grand Canyon is a right of passage i think into the world of seasonal work...Xanterra is what it is, that being a large corporate entity with a lot, i mean a lot of employees all over. You will feel this from the get go, so you just have to decide if thats what you want to deal with. If you are the type that just does your job and doesnt try to buck the system in anyway and treats the job for what it is, a position in an amazing place than you will have a great time. No body goes and shares a room with a stranger for the crappy employee dinning room food, it's the stuff that most people will never see or do. So i say go for it, and start living your life according to you and your heart. Reap what you sow. But most of all get out there and start living!!
Thanks for your advice.
Well Said!!!! M.
I personally do not have a problem with Xanterra either, I will be going into my third season working for them at Mt. Rushmore. They are a smaller operation than South Rim or Yellowstone and I think that makes a difference also. The managers get to know everyone throughout the season and the employees are like family by mid-season. Good Luck with your job choice this Spring/Summer and update us in a few weeks/months on your thoughts of the place.
Thanks, I appreciate your input.
I would like to say that even in the bigger parks like south rim and death valley the employees who are long timers become family and the concern and care is overwhelming. The South Rim friends I have are family. I will be going back for the third and last time hopefully in the next couple weeks. I got a job in Longmont and unfortunately they fired me two days later because of owner issues. I've been struggling every since and have decided to head back to the canyon.


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